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Lawrence G. Walters
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Lawrence Walters’s Answers

251 total


  • Do I need a lawyer to create documentation for an online dating website?

    I have, what I feel to be a good online dating website idea. I am not sure if I need to get any documentation from a lawyer to cover myself in case anything were to ever go wrong during a date that the website helped set up. I am new to the dating...

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Online dating sites are unique, and raise special legal issues. Things like DMCA Safe Harbor, Section 230 immunity, Section 2257 compliance, FTC deceptive trade practice concerns, to name a few. You'll also need to draft user agreements, privacy policies, refund policies, and acceptable use policies. Finally you should register your copyrights and trademarks. My site; www.onlinedatinglaw.com, offers some basic information.

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  • What to start a business in Delaware completely online but I live in California. Would I still pay California taxes?

    I am a programmer. I would only sell online and the products would be distributed digitally. I would be programming at my residence in California though. In this case would there be any benefit to registering a business in Delaware?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Typically, the state of incorporation will have little impact on state level taxation. The question is where are you conducting business and earning revenue? Online businesses have the ability to do business in every state, so the analysis is complicated. Some states also tax internet sales and services. Any tax issue should be evaluated by a CPA or tax attorney, but it won't drive the choice for your state of incorporation. Other issues such as the level of privacy afforded to your corporate records can vary from state to state.

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  • Does an Art Gallery open to the public have to post a notice if the art shown is sexually explicit?

    I was wondering if an art gallery needed to post a notice about the art in a show, if young people could walk in and view sexually explicit art?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    There are often state-level prohibitions on displaying 'harmful' materials to minors. The determination whether something is harmful involves a specific legal evaluation patterned after the Miller Test for obscenity. Mere nudity or erotic suggestion will not automatically trigger a finding that the material is harmful to minors. In addition, even sexually explicit content can be legally displayed to minors unless it lacks serious artistic value, with respect to minors. Often explicit public displays will include warning notices out of a sense of societal decency, not based on a specific law requiring that they do so.

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  • Can a lawyer help me write terms and acceptance for a website? Or have any experience with law and websites.

    Im looking for a lawyer who can write terms and acceptance and other documents such as return policies and user agreements.

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Yes, Internet lawyers commonly do this work. Typically, you will need at least a set of user terms (including refund / billing policies), a privacy policy, an acceptable use policy, DMCA policies, and perhaps an affiliate agreement. Other online terms or disclosures will depend on the specific business model you are operating.

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  • Is it legal to film and sell internet pornography in the state of Wisconsin?

    The content would be filmed in a private, personal residence and the content would be sold on line.

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Yes, so long as its not obscene. There are some federal regulations, as well. See my legal guide here; http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/adult-website-law-tips-for-safely-operating-an-adult-website

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  • What can I do if the registrar and webhost ignore a DMCA Takedown Notice?

    I sent a detailed, signed, notarized DMCA Takedown notice to the registrar, IP/DNS masking service, and webhost of a website that is stealing massive amounts of content and republishing it on his website. This person has a DMCA link on his site, ...

    Lawrence’s Answer

    The DMCA is a US law. Foreign sites often do not abide by this US law. There are circumstances where foreign sites can be held liable for copyright infringement if DMCA notices are not honored. Google the 'oron' case in Nevada. An attorney will be required to pursue this further and it could get expensive.

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  • How do I register a DMCA agent for my website

    How do I register a DMCA agent for my website? Please explain the steps. Can I do this online?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Setting up DMCA safe harbor requires more than registering a DMCA agent with the copyright office, although that is important. Here is an article I wrote on the subject: http://www.firstamendment.com/site-articles/dmca-agent/

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  • Is it legal to bet with someone else's money?

    My employer is making a bet and wants everyone pay if we lose the bet. No one has consented to pay and I was wondering if there was any legal precedent or laws concerning this? If you could point me in the correct direction it would be greatly app...

    Lawrence’s Answer

    If the wager involves a sporting event, it could also violate the federal Wire Wager Act. Enforcing an involuntary, illegal gambling debt will be very difficult for your boss, and potentially a criminal offense.

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  • If we pull clips of televised fights from You Tube to create a video, is this copyright infringement?

    We plan to prepare a preview or series of videos for an upcoming boxing match. What are the legal ramifications of pulling clips from YouTube and making a video with our own voice overs? We would specifically be pulling fights previously televised...

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Sounds like this would be a derivative work, and subject to infringement claims by the original copyright owners. Not making a profit, or restricting the publication to the Internet, does not excuse infringement. Certain uses of copyrighted material can qualify as 'fair use' but any such analysis should be done by an experienced copyright lawyer.

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  • If I made an internet directory for professional advisors what should I be worried about?

    What are the chances of me getting sued?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    DMCA safe harbor compliance, disclaimers of liability, section 230 immunity, terms of service, privacy policies, intellectual property protection, and disclosures regarding professional advice, to start. Any site like this should only be launched with competent legal advice.

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